Arizona Diamondbacks Continue Season-Opening Run, Down San Diego Padres in 11 Innings
The Arizona Diamondbacks have now won all four of the team's first games, with the latest victory coming after 11 innings last night against the San Diego Padres in southern California.
The game winning play -- a Chris Young two-run home run in the top of the 11th off former D'Backs pitcher Micah Owings to win 4-2.
Using a good portion of last year's Oakland A's pitching staff -- starter Trevor Cahill, and relievers Brad Ziegler and Craig Breslow -- the D'Backs used six pitchers to hold the Padres to just two runs on six hits.
The D'Backs were actually held scoreless for nine innings, scoring only in the first and 11th innings.
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Second baseman Willie Bloomquist -- a former Arizona State University slugger -- led off the game with a single to left, and Miguel Montero reached on a bat-shattering infield single, as Padres pitcher Edinson Volquez tried to avoid the flying wood particles.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt came to the plate with two outs, and hit what looked like an absolute bomb to left field.
The ball bounced a few feet short of the wall, but that was good enough for a double to score Bloomquist and Montero, and put Goldschmidt safely on second.
The Padres were held scoreless by Cahill's pitching until the third inning, but it wasn't pretty.
In his first two innings, Cahill threw 48 pitches -- only 18 of them for strikes.
He got out of the messy situations, though, as the only run off Cahill was when Chase Headley scored on a fielder's choice in the third inning.
Hits were rare for both teams until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Ziegler came in to relieve Cahill.
Ziegler was not in mid-season form, leaving some pretty meatballs over the plate for the Padres.
That led to a triple by Orlando Hudson -- of former D'Backs fame -- and he was brought home by a single from the next batter, Jason Bartlett, who was called out trying to stretch the play into a double.
Ziegler then walked pinch-hitter Jeremy Hermida, struck out Cameron Maybin for his second out, and was pulled for a new reliever, Bryan Shaw.
Shaw struck out Will Venable in four pitches, then retired the side in the next inning.
With the game tied at two, the Padres had two men on with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but David Hernandez ripped three straight strikes into Montero's mitt to strike out Maybin and send the game to extra innings.
No hits came in the 10th inning for either team.
In the top of the 11th, though, a pitch skimmed the jersey of Gerardo Parra, putting him on first base.
Chris Young took the very next pitch to the seats in left field.
D'Backs closer J.J. Putz came in to close out the game, and it looked like the game was going to last until 2 a.m., as Yonder Alonso led off the inning with a single.
Putz then got Nick Hundley to fly out to right. Then he downed Hudson on three straight strikes. Bartlett then swung at his first pitch, hitting it to shortstop for an easy out at second to end the game.
Breslow got the win, Putz got the save, and the undefeated Diamondbacks play the Padres again tonight for the second game of the three-game series in San Diego. Joe Saunders is making his first start of the season tonight for the D'Backs.
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